5 Tips To Help You Up Your Photography Game

Photography is something that I have always been interested in. When I was a little girl, I remember admiring those who took great pictures as well as those who had them in their homes. My mom was very good at taking pictures of us when we were little and I would spend hours going through the photo albums looking at the pictures and remembering and laughing at the memories. I knew at a very young age that I would love being about to capture memories for others and I always had the dream in the back of my mind as I grew up.

It wasn’t until about six months ago when I was able to start pursuing my photography dream. I had to take a photography class for my major and through that class I learned the basics of photography and learned that I loved it more than I ever thought I would. The class was hard and challenging and there were some points when I wasn’t sure what I was doing. I will admit, there were times – and there are still times – where I get frustrated and discouraged.

Through these last few months I have been able to learn a lot more about photography, as well as learning more about myself. There have been many different things that have helped me as I learn to do photography and I would like to share five tips that I learned that helped me know more about photography, as well as keep the motivation and courage to keep going.


1 – Learn all you can about photography through videos, bloggers, fellow photographers and books. I have been blessed with having a few fellow photographer mentors and it has made a world of difference in my learning and understanding.



2  – I prefer to shoot portraits and food/product shots while others love doing landscapes and action shoots. It may take awhile to know what you like best but after you find what you enjoy, it makes it more fun and exciting, and makes you want to keep going.


3 – Use the light to your advantage. The light makes or breaks a photo so learn how to use it to help make your pictures look great. Let it help you!



Morgan (23 of 91).jpg


4 – Reach out and do collaborations with other photographers and creatives. This is something that really scared me but it has made me 10x better, 10x faster just because I reached out to others and did shoots with them. I have found that you can learn so much from a more experienced photographer just by watching them.


5 – This doesn’t mean you have to have a shoot set up every day but it’s more for your mind to help you get in the mindset of figuring out different locations, poses, lighting and even just knowledge that will help you overall. You can even take pictures with your phone some days.

I still have a lot to learn about photography but I have really enjoyed my journey so far. It’s fun to look back and see where I started and compare it to where I am now. If you dream it and put your mind to it, you can achieve it!


Best Seller

Stock Photography is definitely something that I have had a blast learning and it’s so fun seeing the progress that I have made. I’ve been trying to upload more and more pictures so that has really helped me get the process started and running. I have really enjoyed learning about setting up shots, how to edit them and then how to submit them to the agencies. I was able to sell two pictures which has been exciting. It’s been a great start and I am excited to jump more into stock photography and learn more about it.

This was the first picture I sold. I was really pumped when I sold it because I spent the most time editing this picture and getting it ready stock. As you can see below, it’s actually a combination of two pictures. I was able to mask them together so that the letter in the background were blurry and the letters in the lenses are in focus. I also sharpened the picture a little bit and made the backgrounds completely white.

I sold this picture three days after I submitted it so that was exciting. I really didn’t make a ton of edits to it. The healing spot brush was used to remove the numbers from the tag and then I sharpen the picture and adjusted the curves a little bit to make the coloring a little richer and to help the cow stand out a little bit more.

Watch Time Is It?

For the past two weeks I have been working on making an realistic watch in Illustrator and it is safe to say that I have come a long way since the first week of this class. This project was not only time consuming, but it took a lot of patience to do all the details right and to get everything matching but I am happy with my final result. I learned so much from this project and It’s been nice learning how to use more tools in Illustrator and seeing how they all work together.



At the beginning of this project I was really wanting to do a clock because I wanted to do something different than the usual watch at most everyone choses to do. I looked up some fun modern clock ideas and started sketching out the ideas that I could do. I had fun with my sketches but mixing different styles of clocks, hands, numbers and even textures and even though I ended up switching to a watch, sketching these ideas out really helped me with my watch design.

I ended up deciding to do a watch because I knew that it would be more challenging and I wanted to push myself with this project. I also felt that I would be able to learn more in Illustrator and design wise if I did a watch because it had more details and different aspects that a clock just wouldn’t have. After I decided to do a watch I started looking for some modern and sleek looking watches and I came across this Arvo watch that I really liked I’ve had my eye one this brand for a while so I thought it would be fun to make a watch just like it.



I had a lot of fun with the draft. It was really cool seeing how it all started to come together. I started with making the shapes of each object and then adding more detail as I went along. I really enjoyed making the watch face and adding the triangles for the numbers. Because I had originally planned on doing a clock, I had to do more sketches as I was working on my draft and final. I really found it useful to use sketch different objects out as I was trying to design them because that allowed me to take the time to step away from my watch and figure out the correct shadings, texture and shapes of the objects that I was working on. My sketches weren’t the best but I found a new way to help me in my projects which is something that I am excited about!


Here is my draft. (Don’t mind the weird coloring on the bands, it went weird when I exported it)



Here is my final. I am really happy with how it turned out and I would honestly buy and wear the watch. I worked really hard on getting the right gradients as well as the right coloring and shapes, especially on the rim. I had the most trouble with getting the shadows right around the face and rim but I think they turned out okay. I like how the reflection on the glass turned out and the texture on the band.




View More: http://aliceshootspeople.pass.us/trever--ashley

Hello! I’m Ashley Olsen! I am twenty-one and a student at BYU-Idaho studying visual communications and public relations. I love meeting new people and animals. I also love using colors and elements to make original designs.

If you see anything you like please let me know. You can contact me at ashleyolsen2210@gmail.com.

Thanks for stopping by!

My Photo Book

Below is my photo book. I had a really fun time putting it together and I feel that it really shows my photography style and what I like to take pictures of. I loved designing it and I was able to be challenged which is always great because that means I was able to learn more. I really like the simplicity of the design of my book because it allows the pictures to stand out more.

I chose to do it black and white so that the pictures were where the color came from. I felt that this helped display my pictures better and allowed them to stand out. I wanted the focus to be on the pictures because I did work hard to get them great so I didn’t want the design to take away from them. I did incorporate the design element of a stripe that was on every page that went along well with the title of each page. I like how clean and simple it looked and it also tied in well with my pictures.


Ashley Olsen’s Photobook

Contest Online Entry – 3 Photos



I chose to enter this picture in the Rule of Thirds Extravaganza photo contest on the Viewbug website. I chose to submit this picture because it it fits the category perfectly and it is my favorite picture that I have taken. I love how the flower petal ended up on the rule of thirds and the way it stands out from the background. The colors in the petal contrast well with the darker and blurred background. I didn’t have to edit my picture to fit the contest.

The reason I chose this contest is mostly because I had this picture on my mind and I wanted to submit it in a contest so I really looked for the perfect contest to submit it too. I looked on the Viewbug website for the right contest and the rule of thirds contest caught my eye. After reading about the rules I knew that this picture would fit best in this contest and hopefully stand out.


Entered November 30, 2016.



I chose to enter this image into the All Things Black And White contest on the Viewbug website because this is one of my favorite pictures and I really wanted to submit it in a contest. I love how the contrast in the necklace stands out in the jewelry box. I also really love the picture because of the emotional attachment that I have to it so I definitely wanted to include it in a contest. I didn’t have to edit the picture at all for the contest so that was good!

I chose the All Things Black and White contest because I am a fan of black and white pictures but don’t have a ton of them so I thought it would fun to include one. It also is a little different then the two other pictures that I entered.


Entered November 30, 2016.



I entered this picture in the Right In The Center contest on the Viewbug website because it fit the category and it is one of my favorite pictures that I have taken. I also felt that this picture fit into the category well and I felt that it could definitely stand out in the contest because it’s an up close and personal portrait that is “right in the center” so it fit in well. I didn’t have to edit the picture any differently for the contest.

I chose the contest by actually be invited to it after I submitted my petal picture. It was a hidden contest that came up and I decided to go for it! I did take some time deciding on what picture to use because I wanted it to stand out. This contest also sounded fun and a little secretive (since it was hidden) so I wanted to take the chance on it.


Entered November 30, 2016.